Welcome to Libertas Chambers Leading specialists in Business Crime, Professional Discipline & Asset Recovery

Libertas is a dynamic and progressive chambers, offering a range of specialisms across a national presence.

Forward-thinking set of chambers with a national presence

Libertas Chambers boasts an impressive array of experienced barristers in several practice areas.  We took advantage of recent challenges to rethink the model of a chambers based on criminal and regulatory law and set up on a virtual basis.

This enabled us to create a national service for solicitors and clients by having high quality conference suites in major cities. In London we retain premises in the heart of the City.

Our members provide a high-quality service with access to modern facilities throughout the country.

Read more about us

Areas of Practice & Expertise

Our carefully selected and highly skilled collection of experts provide a national and international service to all Libertas clients. Providing you with a first-class advocacy and advisory service across the following areas (and many more).

If you would like to discuss an alternative area of law please contact our clerking team who will provide you with immediate advice and support.

Business Crime

Our barristers have established national and international reputations for their expertise, experience and confidence in Fraud, Financial Services and Business Crime and Compliance – they are consistently ranked as leaders in the field. We advise and represent individuals and entities in relation to financial, regulatory, and fraud investigations in the UK, and overseas. Our clients include financial institutions and corporations, as well as politicians, entrepreneurs, company directors and chief executives, chartered accountants, lawyers, IFAs and medical and other professionals. We therefore have accumulated experience dealing with the Financial Conduct Authority, Serious Fraud Office, National Crime Agency, HMRC, National Trading Standards, FACT, as well as other investigating and prosecuting bodies. Many of our cases have an international dimension and we are accordingly experienced dealing with overseas authorities including the US Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and EU, Indian and Australian authorities. Practitioners specialise in trans-jurisdictional terrorist financing, proscribed wildlife trading, and export control violations. Members of our team have previously worked in the banking and commercial sectors and within their regulatory regimes. Others have had advisory and disciplinary roles regulating the accounting (FRC, ACCA, CIMA) and medical (GMC) sectors.  Some of us prosecute for these agencies as well as defending, and advise on and conduct internal investigations, or act as disclosure counsel. We understand how regulators and prosecution authorities work. Practitioners lecture and advise on corporate responsibility for human rights. We are often involved in an advisory role at the start of regulatory or criminal investigations. Our experience, attention to detail and dedication to our clients assists them in responding appropriately with the object of avoiding prosecution. When proceedings are commenced, we work to ensure that our clients receive the best advice and representation and, most importantly, a fair hearing. Our work covers a wide range of conduct, recently including: Bribery and corruption, including European government officials Cartel Offending Commercial property fraud Corporate compliance with human rights obligations Environmental protection, including carbon credit and land fraud, wildlife trading and international illegal logging EU, National and Devolved Government grant scheme frauds Export Control violations Fraud and cheating in the sports sector (cricket, rugby, horse-racing) Fraudulent trading Insider trading, market manipulation and abuse Insolvency and bankruptcy offending Intellectual property theft Investment (boiler-room) fraud and Ponzi mis-selling Money laundering, restraint, confiscation and asset forfeiture Pension mis-selling and liberation frauds Professional discipline Tax Evasion SPV’s inc. film and insurance schemes MTIC & carousel fraud PAYE, payroll and C.I.S. frauds Duty diversions Terrorist financing Trading Standards prosecutions in clothing, energy switching and ticketing sectors Web-site ghosting and internet advance-fee frauds Whistle-blowing and deferred prosecution agreements We advise and represent well-known corporate clients and individuals in sensitive situations with discretion as well as vigour. Please call our Clerking team on 020 7036 0200 to discuss any particular requirements you may have.

Defence Crime

Libertas Chambers brings together some of the country’s leading criminal defence specialists. Exceptional juniors and renowned Queens Counsel provide quality representation from the Supreme Court, through the Crown Courts across London and the Circuits and in the Magistrates Court. Members of Libertas Chambers also regularly appear in quasi-criminal jurisdictions where their experience in the criminal courts provides a cutting edge service in regulatory and professional disciplinary proceedings. Chambers accept instructions in both publicly and privately funded work and members provide specialist and strategic advice at all stages of a criminal case, from pre-charge investigation through to trial and appeal. Members of Chambers have appeared in some of the most high-profile criminal cases of recent times, including Operation Elveden (selling stories about Prince William and Prince Harry to The Sun), R v H and C [2004] 2 AC 134 (leading case on disclosure), R v Jogee [2016] UKSC 8 (clarifying an error in the law in accessorial liability) and R v Lewis [2017] EWCA Crim 1734 on the approach to joint principalship. Members are regularly instructed in the following key areas of practice: Appellate Homicide Corporate manslaughter Terrorism Drug trafficking Serious and organised crime, including corruption and bribery International crime Human trafficking Modern Slavery Fraud Cyber crime Robbery Serious assaults Kidnaping Serious sexual offences Environmental health offences Trading standards prosecutions RSPCA prosecutions Our barristers offer expert advice to a wide range of external authorities and regularly provide training and lectures on current topics to other members of the legal profession, experts and those who work within the wider criminal justice system.

Regulatory

Our members have substantial experience defending individuals and companies in regulatory matters before professional tribunals or the FTT and above. What distinguishes us from other barristers specialising in regulatory work is that clients will have the benefit of our skills and experience as criminal advocates too. What is often required in contentious regulatory work is a robust defence, strategic advice and preparation, and skilful cross-examination of witnesses. The lack of hard-fought trial experience in some regulatory practitioners means that the witnesses may not be put under the degree of sustained pressure in cross-examination that the client is entitled to and expects. We believe that any individual or corporate entity that is facing a serious regulatory accusation is entitled to the same robust defence as a defendant in a criminal case. The consequence of a false regulatory accusation can be just as damaging and life changing as a false accusation of a criminal offence. Professionals can be vulnerable to malicious complaints. The only way to tackle these successfully is to use the skills honed in the criminal courts to uncover false accusations. We understand that these cases often cross over between criminal, civil, regulatory and disciplinary proceedings. We are also very aware of both the commercial and emotional impact these cases can have on clients and have a lot of experience supporting our clients through the challenges. We are also well-versed working with insurers, unions and defence organisations. The team includes trained mediators and members with experience working within the City and in house with regulators.

Public Law & Human Rights

Judicial Review proceedings enable challenges to decisions made by Courts and Tribunals, by regulators and by bodies whose public functions impact upon individuals and companies. This jurisdiction is an important protection of the rights of the individual against administrative irrationality or excess. We have specialist experience seeking Judicial Review in cases flowing from our other practise areas, challenging decisions in criminal and quasi-criminal investigations. Members have acted for claimants seeking to challenge decisions made by the police, the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the Information Commissioner, the Asset Recovery Agency, the Legal Services Commission, the Magistracy, Judges and various Tribunals. These cases have included challenges to the lawfulness of pre-charge search warrants, decisions to prosecute children, actions by solicitors resisting Special Procedure search warrants, challenges to the lawfulness of the application of the sending procedure by Magistrates Courts, preserving the anonymity of young offenders in extreme cases, applicability of the reasonable time requirements in Article 6 to enforcement of Confiscation Proceedings, decisions on appellate referral by the CCRC, treatment of prisoners and the review of Parole Board decisions. Within the criminal trial process, our members have expertise at first instance, on domestic appeal and applications in the European Court of Human Rights and the OHCHR, challenging a range of human rights violations, as well as the compatibility of primary and secondary legislation with the European Convention for the Protection of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms (ECHR) such as the hearsay provisions in CJA 2003, the reverse burden in s.90 Financial Services Act 2012, and the Attorney -General’s exercise of the right of nolle prosequi. We act nationally and internationally for people whose human rights are in issue in other forums including actions against the police, extradition, international law, in Prisoners’ Rights, and at Coronial Inquests. Members have advised and acted on behalf of individuals, governmental organisations and major NGO’s in providing international human rights expertise. Our members provide advice and representation in cases concerning Prison Law, including issues relating to the welfare of prisoners, to Parole Board hearings, and the release and recall of prisoners. Coronial Inquests engage the rights of many groups; members have experience representing interested parties, insurers and the families of the deceased. We offer particular expertise where there is a potential engagement of criminal or regulatory proceedings, acting for insurers and their policy holders.

Private Prosecutions

The prosecution of alleged criminals for wrongdoing is generally the domain of the Crown and its specialist agencies. But increasing budgetary constraints on investigating and prosecution agencies mean that a significant number of miscreants are able to avoid being held to account in the Criminal Courts for their actions. When State prosecutors decide that they cannot or will not prosecute, the law allows private individuals to prosecute allegations of wrong-doing. Initiating a private prosecution puts you in court as the prosecutor, adopting the mantle of the prosecution agency. Private prosecutions are a specialist area of the law. The right to prosecute, and seek punishment of offenders, brings with it the responsibility of ensuring a fair trial and the obligation to conform to all the rules applicable to any prosecuting agency. Those rules are often complex and diffuse. At Libertas Chambers, our barristers are experienced at liaising with potential prosecuting authorities and advising how to assemble the best case for the prosecution, taking the case to court and seeking justice, even where the Crown Prosecution Service or other prosecution agencies cannot or will not act. Importantly, this includes continuing advice on the recovery of compensation and some or all of the costs of litigation from defendants or from Central Funds. We start by helping you assess your evidence, advising you on the right forum in which to litigate, and on the merits of your case, then working with the best private prosecution solicitors to put together and finally to present your case at trial, ensuring continuity of representation and consistency of approach.

International Law

Libertas Chambers can field a range of quality advocates who are able to undertake advisory, consultancy and adversarial work in International Criminal Law including Genocide, Torture, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes, including several members who are experienced in military tribunals. Members of Libertas Chambers have significant experience in international criminal law at International Criminal Courts and Tribunals, including appeals in cases concerning genocide, crimes against humanity and joint criminal enterprise in an international context. Members experience extends to issues of universal and extra territorial jurisdiction, transnational human trafficking, statelessness and citizenship stripping. Members of Libertas Chambers are available to advise on issues of complementarity arising in International Criminal Law investigations and the application of domestic criminal law in the context of war crimes, torture and other international crimes, to include where there are overlaps with International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights, Terrorism as an international crime, Extradition and Asset freezing regimes. We are particularly proud to have a number of members with expertise in international terrorism law who have acted in the UK and overseas in high profile cases at trial and on appeal. Our members are also experts in extradition law, particularly in the context of multinational financial crime. Members of Libertas Chambers also have recent experience across the Commonwealth and in the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and have experience in death penalty cases overseas We have members on the lists and the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) in the Hague and who have appeared in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)> Members provide teaching and training in a wealth of international criminal law spheres.

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Latest News
Felicity Gerry QC secures acquittal for a child client on an alleged “joint enterprise” murder Felicity Gerry QC secures an acquittal for a child client on an alleged “joint enterprise” murder after a submission of no case to answer. In a trial involving special measures including an intermediary for her vulnerable child client at Manchester Crown Court, Felicity successfully argued that there was no evidence to prove murder. Later her submissions on knowledge were successfully added to the legal directions on other counts. Verdicts on manslaughter and conspiracy to rob were entered yesterday and sentence will take place on 11 June. Read about the trial: Manchester Evening News The Sun IE
Libertas Chambers
Libertas Lens – May 2021 In our third Libertas Lens we look at neuroscience, habeas corpus, bankrupts and an absence of victims in sentencing for sexual offences. To view the recent edition click here To register for Libertas Lens and ensure you never miss out on our news, events and free webinars follow this link or click Join our Newsletter below.
Libertas Chambers
Encrochat Preparatory Hearing Simon Csoka QC is leading the defence submissions in the key preparatory hearing upon Encrochat evidence in Manchester. Simon is leading Oliver Cook and Frances Hertzog from Libertas and Imran Shafi QC from Exchange. We are instructed by Middleweeks and Potter Derby. The submissions are being made by Simon and his juniors on behalf of all the defendants in Operations Embossed and Estevan before Dove J. This is the lead case on many of the admissibility challenges to Encrochat. These are new factual and legal challenges to the legality and admissibility of the material. Other Venetic prosecutions are awaiting the outcome of the hearing and any consequent appeal by either side. The preparatory hearing is due to resume on 4th May after having been adjourned part-heard. The proceedings are subject to reporting restrictions but solicitors are permitted to listen to the hearing through CVP. Our clerks are happy to assist with that. Simon and Oli will deliver a webinar on Encrochat evidence once reporting restrictions permit.
Simon Csoka QC
Latest Insights
Autism Spectrum Disorder and the Criminal Law This article contains much of what we discussed in our Libertas Lecture on 22 April 2021 which followed the theme of the A.A. Milne quote: “You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you; you have to go to them sometimes”. In criminal proceedings legal professionals have to consider, recognise and respond to a range of issues that regularly confront medical professionals. These include adverse mental health; equality, and inclusion issues; poverty; evidence of bullying; parental substance misuse (alcohol and/or drug use); domestic (inter-partner) violence; and child abuse. Add to this Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) where the display of challenging behaviour, particularly by children and within the criminal justice system means we have a forest of problems with no apparent clearing. This short article particularly considers accused persons in contact with the criminal justice system who may have some or all of these issues along with other disabilities. Download Article now
Felicity Gerry QC
Virus Transmission, Deception and the Criminal Law This article sets out some of the matters we discussed in our Libertas Chambers online lecture on 18 March 2021. It considers the current state of the English criminal law in relation to deception and the transmission of a virus through sexual intercourse with particular reference to the decisions in R v Lawrance [2020] EWCA Crim 971 and R v Rowe [2018] EWCA Crim 2688. Largely we consider the law in relation to deception and HIV but, over the last 12 months of lockdown, the lottery of transmission is now more generally understood which make the issue of criminalisation of viral transmission acutely important. Download Article now
Felicity Gerry QC
Sentencing: Covid discounts on the wane? The Covid-19 pandemic continues to pose a series of challenges to the criminal justice system. The sentencing regime is no exception. In R v Manning [2020], the Court of Appeal established that prison conditions could and should be factored into decisions to suspend custodial terms where appropriate, setting in motion a series of higher courts’ decisions on the availability and scope of the ‘Covid Discounts’. More than a year on, the Court has now fine-tuned its earlier jurisprudence; this article examines the implications of R v Dixon [2021] for offenders, advocates and sentencers concerned with Covid-related submissions at sentencing. Download Article now
Fahrid Chishty
Latest Events
Memory and Brain Disorders in Criminal Trials – Webinar Sign up open for our next Libertas Webinar – details below Siobhan Grey QC will be joined by Professor Michael Kopelman, Neuropsychiatrist and Professor Chris Brewin, Clinical Psychologist to discuss the accuracy of memory in the courtroom, memory disorders and how neuro-imaging – CT scans and MRI scans – is being relied upon at trial. This talk will give a brief introduction to some of the ways in which clinical neuroscience is implicated in the criminal courts, with particular reference to memory disorders and incorporating issues such as amnesia for offences, automatism, alcohol-related memory disorder, and fitness to plead. It will give a basic account of how such cases are assessed, including neuro-imaging, and the problems which can arise. Siobhan Grey QC, is a criminal defence advocate who has led in many murder cases where the central issues involved memory disorders and has relied upon neuroimaging to show a deterioration in the brain. Ms Grey QC has recently succeeded in having a murder conviction quashed in the Court of Appeal on the grounds of fresh evidence and she is currently instructed in appellate cases before the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Appeal and the Privy Council. She is also instructed to lead for the Defence in forthcoming murder cases. Professor Michael Kopelman is Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychiatry, Kings College, London. He ran a Neuropsychiatry and Memory Disorders Clinic for 25 years at St Thomas’s Hospital, London. He was President of the British Academy of Forensic Sciences. He has written on many aspects of amnesia and memory disorders – from the nature of cognitive deficits in neurological disease to amnesia in crime. His medico-legal work has included a variety of criminal, extradition, death row, civil and Court of Appeal cases. Professor Chris Brewin is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London. In 2013 he received the Robert S. Laufer Memorial Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. He is acknowledged as a leading expert in trauma and memory and his medicolegal work has focused on memory for historic sexual abuse. Register today – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/memory-and-brain-disorders-in-criminal-trials-registration-158397999681 To ensure you don’t miss out on future events please register for our newsletter by clicking here.
Libertas Chambers
Gross Negligence Manslaughter – Medical, Drug and Food related deaths – Webinar Sign up open for our next Libertas Webinar – details below. Discussing the distinctions between unlawful acts and gross negligence, the recent case of R v Rebelo No2 on autonomy in causation and the continuing issues with the meanings of “substantial cause”, “reasonable foreseeability” and “obvious and serious risk” following Honey Rose v R Presented by Professor Felicity Gerry QC and Dr Oliver Quick – Felicity defended the appeal in R v Rebelo No1 where the Court of Appeal of England and Wales considered manslaughter in the context of a diet pill bought online and the scope of women’s autonomy in eating disorders. She has long experience of appearing in cases of homicide involving complex legal and medical issues. Oliver Quick is Reader in Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Health, Law and Society at the University of Bristol. He has written widely about law and patient safety with particular expertise on gross negligence manslaughter. His research was heavily cited in the Independent Review of Gross Negligence Manslaughter and Culpable Homicide established by the General Medical Council. Register today – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gross-negligence-manslaughter-medical-drug-and-food-related-deaths-registration-152993091455 To ensure you don’t miss out on future events please register for our newsletter by clicking here.
Libertas Chambers
Forensic Archaeology and the preservation of evidence for criminal trials – Webinar Sign up open for our next Libertas Webinar – details below. Forensic Archaeology and the preservation of evidence for international and domestic criminal trials Discussing the use of forensic archaeology in mass graves and major crime from Srebrenica to the Moors Murders to the Fred West investigations as well as in buried homicide, treasure troves and commercial construction. This lecture also considers the recent ICC decision in Dominic Ongwen on Article 56 of the Rome Statute and the rights of defendants in the collection and preservation of physical and witness evidence . Presented by Professor Felicity Gerry QC and Abi Carter and Sarah Day – Felicity has defended a range of historic cases including a criminal trial where all the evidence (prosecution and defence) was on video. She is on the lists of counsel at the International criminal court (ICC) and the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) in the Hague. She has a particular expertise in out of time appeals and scene examination and a particular interest in the Richard III investigation. Abi Carter is a Forensic Archaeologist and Director of Forensic Resources Ltd. Abi worked on some of the forensic evidence associated with the mass graves of the 1995 genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarah was part of the defence team for Ao An at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Register today – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/forensic-archaeology-and-the-preservation-of-evidence-for-criminal-trials-registration-152988981161 To ensure you don’t miss out on future events please register for our newsletter by clicking here.
Libertas Chambers